Faculty Call for Usc President's Resignation over Alleged Sexual Abuse by Campus Gynecologist
May 23, 2018
The president of the University of Southern California is facing calls to resign in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against a former doctor at the school. Two-hundred faculty members signed a letter Tuesday saying president Max Nikias has "lost the moral authority" to lead USC. That comes as several women filed lawsuits accusing USC of not properly responding to complaints against campus gynecologist George Tyndall.
The university said over the last few days it has received around 200 reports about Dr. Tyndall. Some of his alleged victims are now represented by the same lawyers who represented the victims of disgraced MSU doctor Larry Nassar. Like in that case, there are now questions about who knew what and when, reports CBS News' Bianna Golodryga.
USC master's student Daniella Mohazab said that during an STD test in 2016, Tyndall sexually harassed and molested her.
"He made me feel extremely uncomfortable and violated," Mohazab said.
She and six other women are suing the doctor and USC for allegedly failing to properly respond to numerous complaints made about him.
Tyndall worked for the university's student health center for about 30 years, where CBS Los Angeles reports he was the only full-time gynecologist. Accusations against him include taking inappropriate pictures of hundreds of patients' genitals, making sexual comments about patients' bodies, and repeatedly assaulting patients under the guise of medical treatment.
"Reportedly, USC was aware of Dr. Tyndall's inappropriate conduct before I was even born," Mohazab said.
The university admits Tyndall was the subject of eight complaints since 2000. But according to one of the lawsuits, he wasn't put on leave until 2016, when a concerned nurse reported him to the campus rape crisis center. After an investigation, he was fired last June.
"It's really unclear why USC and its clinic leadership didn't take action sooner," said Matt Hamilton, a Los Angeles Times reporter who helped break the story. "The faculty at USC…they are in a state of revolt right now."
In a letter addressed to the board of trustees Tuesday, 200 faculty members called on USC president Max Nikias to step down, expressing "outrage and disappointment" over his alleged failure to protect female students against "repeated and pervasive sexual harassment and misconduct."
Nikias said in a statement he understands the faculty's "anger and frustration," and is committed to "rebuilding their trust."
The USC board of trustees said in a statement it is disturbed by the allegations against Tyndall but has full confidence in president Nikias' leadership. CBS News reached out to Tyndall, but we have not heard back. He denied any wrongdoing to the Los Angeles Times.